FORTRAN vs BASIC

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February 8, 2013 by Ozgur Ozden

Two programming languages I would like to compare are Visual  Basic and FORTRAN. I Imagehave decided to compare these two because i have some working experience about these programs  and these developed completely for different group of people.
But before I start the comparison, I would like to give some brief info about each one.
FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation): is a general-purpose language but mainly designed for numeric, scientific and engineering calculations. Created and designed by IBM around 1950’s. Over the years many versions of the program were developed as Fortran I,II,III,IV,66,77,90,95, 2003 and 2008. Some statements belong to fortran can be given as:
PRINT, DO, İF…..THEN…ELSE…, SUBROUTINE, WRITE, CONTINUE, READ, INPUT, GOTO
Please find DQ of the week 6 – wordsearch written in FORTRAN 77 as below

    K=0
DO 40  I = (0, M-N)
DO 20 J = (0, N-1)
IF P( I ) .EQ. T ( I+J )
THEN
K=K+1
IF ( K .EQ. N) GOTO 30
ELSE
20 CONTINUE
30 WRITE (6,*) I
40 CONTINUE
END

BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code): is a member of general-purpose language. Designed at 1964 at Dartmouth College for the use of non scientific purpose. there are many variations of BASIC language such as: G-BASIC, GW-BASIC, APPLE BASIC, ATARI BASIC, VISUAL BASIC,MS BASIC, etc…
Common statements used in BASIC can be exemplified as: LET, DATA, READ, IF…THEN…ELSE, FOR…TO, WHILE…WEND, REPEAT….UNTİL, GOTO, GOSUB, PRINT, INPUT, etc
Please find DQ of the week 6 – wordsearch written in BASIC as below

10    LET K=0
20    FOR I = 1 TO M-N
30    FOR J = 1 TO N-1
40    IF P( I ) = T ( I+J )
50    THEN
60    LET K=K+1
70    IF K= N) GOTO 30
80    ELSE
90    NEXT J
100  PRINT I
110  NEXT I
120  END

Now let us try to compare these two programming languages.

  • Fortran mainly used for scientific purposes on the other hand VB is more suitable for commercial and business applications.
  • VB mainly runs at microsoft platforms but fortran runs in many platforms like Windows and linux
  • A fortran program must be complied but VB is simply interpreted.
  • Fortran is imperative but VB is not.
  • VB has object-oriented programming (OOP) features but Fortran has developed way before OOP. But today new versions of fortran has these objects.
  • VB is very handy for creating user friendly GUI’s but with fortran it is very difficult to do this.

Today we are mainly using different programs such as C++,C#, matlab, mathematica, etc instead of Fortran for scientific purposes. VB still exists but we have many other programs replaced VB today as well.

References:
1- Visual Basic Vs. Fortran  [Online]. Available from: http://www.ehow.com/info_10045775_visual-basic-vs-fortran.html  (Accessed: 17 January 2013)

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